Bethany Jenkins on Idleness, Work, and Worship

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Summary

How can Christians love our work even when we hate our jobs? Is there a purpose to work beyond the daily grind? What can Paul’s letters to the church at Thessalonica teach us about faith and work? On today’s episode, Bethany Jenkins, vice president of media at The Veritas Forum, shares how work can be a way to love our neighbors and worship God.

Highlights

On the role of work in God’s economy:

“Work in God’s economy does not always mean paid work. When God introduces the idea of work to Adam and Eve in the garden, they don’t talk about a paycheck. Their version of being fruitful and multiplying and filling and subduing the earth is cooking, cleaning, repairing, building, raising kids, and thousands of other unpaid activities. Any work that meets the needs of others is work whether or not it receives remuneration.”

On the role of faith and work:

“What made work Christian wasn’t the type of work being done, but the faith of the one doing it.”

On Paul’s letters to the church:

“We’re looking at the motivations that Paul gives to the Thessalonians to get to work. He wants them to love their neighbor and to glorify God. He doesn’t mention it’s about a paycheck. He doesn’t mention it’s about self-identity. It’s about the two first great commandments that Jesus told us, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart,’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ That’s what work’s about.”

Resources

Learn more about The Veritas Forum.

Download the episode transcript.

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